Duncan Goodhew hands over swimming awards to disabled youngsters

Three disabled children have been presented with swimming awards in recognition of them overcoming adversity.

Thursday, 1st July 2010, 4:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:15 pm

Megan Hagland, 10, Rhiannon Newton, 11, and nine-year-old Rhys Forster, were each given an Achiever of the Year medal and certificate by Olympic swimming gold medallist Duncan Goodhew at the Southern Water Learn to Swim annual awards presentation at Bewl Water on June 13.

Two other youngsters, five-year-old twins Evie and Matilda Cordell, of Priory Road, also got the same awards.

The pair have swimming lessons at Summerfields Freedom Leisure Centre in town.

Evie has a rare chromosome disorder which means she cannot speak but she is aided by Matilda who helps her communicate through Makaton sign language.

Megan, of Bembrook Road, suffers from a rare form of dwarfism and joined Silverdale Swimming Schools as a beginner two years ago.

She has so far attained a number of swimming certificates, despite suffering extreme levels of pain in her joints.

She is currently awaiting radical surgery on her legs and will then be confined to a wheelchair for many months.

Her teachers Sophie Warmington and Marisa Reid said they were delighted with Megan's confidence and determination to succeed.

Rhiannon, of Buckingham Road, St Leonards, has autism, dyslexia, hyper mobility, and poor spatial awareness.

Walking any distance and coping with stairs are challenging for her.

She is currently being taught by Sue Spinks, has attained a number of swimming achievement certificates, and can now swim 25 metres.

Rhys, from Hailsham, suffers from fibromyalgia and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which means that hesuffers fromsevere and constant pain in his joints, mainly in his knees, elbows, hands and toes. Because of the fibromyalgia, a tissue disorder, he is hyper-sensitive to the slightest touch.